OptiQly’s Chrome Extension Will Rate an Author’s Book Listings on Amazon

Authors, have you ever wondered about the impression that readers get from your books' listings on Amazon?

OptiQly can help you find out. Mike Shatzkin's new startup has released a Chrome extension that can be used to scan a book listing on Amazon.com and rate the effectiveness of the description and other details.

OptiQly's Chrome Extension Will Rate an Author's Book Listings on Amazon Self-Pub

From what I can see, it rates details both on and off the page - there's a reference to Goodreads - and returns a numerical score that "reflects this product detail page's current level of optimization for discovery and conversion at e-retail" on a scale of 1 to 100.

John Scalzi's The Dispatcher, for example, scored 76. It was dinged for the description on Amazon, the author's engagement on social media, and the book's current ranking.

If you log in, you can get additional info, but the OptiQly website won't let me register for an account so I can't tell you what else this extension can reveal.

How do your books rate?

Chrome Web Store

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

6 Comments

  1. Allen F2 October, 2017

    I like that they want me to sign up for their free webinar on September 27, 2017, 1pm ET … as ‘up to date’ as Mike Shatzkin ever is. 😉

    As I think this is the same ‘Mike Shatzkin’ that TPV has so much fun with, I don’t think I could trust him to look out the window and see if it was raining – much less score books.

    Reply
  2. Frank3 October, 2017

    Scalzi is more engaging than most authors on social media. This tool doesn’t seem accurate.

    Reply
    1. Thomas5 October, 2017

      This thing scans the Amazon page, not the book. I doubt Scalzi writes his own ad copy.

      Reply
  3. Peter Winkler3 October, 2017

    This is a totally useless widget.

    Reply
  4. Michael5 October, 2017

    Amusingly, his book The Shatzkin files, scores on 26.

    The Chrome extension offers a few tips about formatting that some authors may not know about, so it’s not entirely useless. However, the whole thing is pretty amateurish as extension coding goes. For one, it asks for permissions on all websites, which is entirely unnecessary. Bad form for an extension that doesn’t need such extension permissions, and a potential security and privacy risk.

    Second, the download contains more than 4,000 files, most from Node.js packages. I’m no expert by any means, but I’m pretty certain there are ways to pack Node.js projects to only include what’s absolutely necessary. Maybe they’ve already done so here and this bloat is an indictment of Node rather than their code.

    Finally, and somewhat amusing again, the extension contains an archived copy of an earlier version of the plugin, in both minified and full forms, which is interesting to look at. Originally it was calling Amazon APIs and adding an Amazon Associate tag, optiqly-20, to Amazon website requests.

    var amd = {
    "endPoint": "https://webservices.amazon.com/onca/xml?",
    "accessKey": "[redacted]",
    "associateTag": "optiqly-20",
    "secretKey": "[redacted]"
    };

    That would have been a violation of the Amazon Associates Program Participation Requirements, Section 6: “Except as agreed between you and us in a separate written agreement referencing this Section 6, you will not use any Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to the Amazon Site, on or in connection with: (a) any client-side software application (e.g., a browser plug-in, helper object, toolbar, extension, component, or any other application executable or installable by an end user)[…]”

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder5 October, 2017

      Yes, I noticed from its behavior that it wasn’t coded very well. But I’m still surprised that it actually has an earlier version of the plugin inside the plugin.

      Reply

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